An overwhelming museum that objectively traces the experiences that led to World War II. The museum itself is divided into several exhibitions with the main exhibit being the most impressive and longest of all. A must for World War II enthusiasts, or for those ve want to learn from our past to avoid repeating the same mistakes for a better future.
The city of Caen is a destination rich in culture and history. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this town, especially the beautiful views from different parts of the city. Caen was founded around the eleventh century and since then has played an important role in many wars, battles and conflicts, like the Hundred Years War, during which the city was invaded by the British and occupied for 33 years. During this time the University was founded. Equally or even more notable was the impact of the Second World War. The Normandy landings took place a few kilometers from the city. The city suffered bombings which killed thousands of civilians and destructed 80% of the town. The reconstruction was slow but well planned, which resulted in an attractive and practical lay-out, with wide avenues, lots of light and properly prepared for the technological advances of later years. It was decided to make use of a calcareous stone extracted from quarries near Caen, which gave a uniform and pleasant feel and also serves as a regional symbol (it can be likened to the use of Salamanca's "Villamayor Stone"). Caen offers a wide range of cultural highlights like theater, concerts and museums. Bycicles provide the easiest mode of transport within the city. The tram is also very convenient, offering a good view at the same time.
This majestic castle is in the center of Caen, built on a hill with a great wall that surrounds it, wood initially, but eventually changed to a more durable and effective material, the "stone Caen ". The castle dates back to the Middle Ages, in the eleventh century. Within the walled area there are several other buildings and monuments of the castle. Today we find a large almost square tower of which little is left (much of which was destroyed during the French Industrial Revolution), the Normandy Museum (formerly the home of the governor), the Museum of Fine Arts, the Church of St Georges, "L'Échiquier de Normandie" is now a permanent exhibition hall, and finally a garden in which are still cultivated many vegetables and fruits that formerly served as sustenance for the inhabitants of the castle. In addition to these main elements, the entrances to the castle are also interesting. There are two entrances, the "Porte des Champs" and "Porte Saint-Pierre", the first is the door that replaces the old "north gate" that was destroyed. The "Porte Saint-Pierre" is a secondary door for the comings and goings from the village (then a town), both are equally spectacular, one for its size and the other for its mechanisms and views toward the center of Caen. The entrance to the castle grounds is free, though you are forced to pay in the museums. The remains of the tower necessitate the hire of a qualified guide. Renovations are occurring so check before you go, so as not to be disappointed.
Like most markets in France, Caen markets surprise us by the large number and variety of products. In this city the markets are fairly distributed over the city, and there is one that is huge but others are distributed at various points. In general it is not open every day (except Sunday where many vendors are working), but each day is reserved for a particular area. In markets there are often vendors selling pottery or other crafts, as well as fast food outlets, the latter continually move from one region to another, so I would recommend ordering a local delicacy, as andwich (or whatever) typical of the region, in Caen order a Andouille sandwich a much sought-after ingredient that you want to try again. A market that impressed me was the Place Courtonne, which is open daily and specializes in vegetables and fruits, it is surprising to see such a variety of potatoes or apples. A visit is recommended either to enjoy the local cuisine or to learn more about customs and habits of the inhabitants of Caen. To learn more you can visit the website of the city of Caen which has information on times and locations.
The church of Saint Peter has been a place of prayer in the city since the 11th Century, which is also the date that the castle was built, situated on a hill overlooking the city. Today, the oldest remains of the church date back to the 13th Century. Expansion work took place during the 16th Century, but the place has managed to retain a certain architectural harmony. The 14th Century façade features a giant pink stained glass window, and the bell tower, which was destroyed during bombing in the Second World War, was rebuilt in the same style that it previously had. The rest features a flamboyant style. Inside, the nave and arcades, which were also destroyed, were renovated during the 1950s. The center features Gothic arches, and it was completed in the mid-16th Century in a Renaissance style. The whole building was built in Caen stone, a gray stone that is found on most of the walls of the old houses in the center, and has a reputation for being very durable, and at the same time, easy to shape, to make statues and church decorations.
There are pedestrian streets in front of the castle where you can taste the specialties of Normandy, and where each step you can find a typical house full of flowers to brighten and illuminate the gray days of the region.
The Musée des beaux-arts de caen (Caen) is situated inside the castle of William the Conqueror, in a building that is quite modern. It is one of the most important museums of France in European paintings of the 16th and and17th century. There is free access to the permanent collections and it also offers a dozen exhibitions annually, alternating old, modern or contemporary paintings, drawings, printmaking and photography.
This natural history museum is based in Caen. The collections were enriched by the contributions from Normandy's Linnean Society, which was founded the same year by Arcisse of Caumont. Though it was first located in a wing of Town Hall, it has since been moved to the palace of the University of Caen. It will depend, therefore, on the collections from the city and the Faculty of Science. In 1944, during the Battle of Caen, the university's palace was destroyed and most of its rich collections were lost. The Musee D'Initiation a La Nature is a wonderful site located in Caen, Lower Normandy, France. It houses a variety of unique works among a totally welcoming atmosphere. It is certainly the best in the area.
The Museum of Normandie (situated in Caen) is a garden of aromatic and medicinal herbs grown in the Middle Ages. You can buy a book (written in French) containing historical artifacts, illustrating the traditional life in Normandy. The Museum has archaeological and ethnological collections that illustrate the cultural development of the region since ancient times to the present.